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2010 Nissan Micra – Click above for high-res image gallery

The more charming – if that's even possible – Nissan Micra has been tweaked to bring smiles to consumers in 160 countries where it will go on sale. To keep them smiling once things get under way, a brand new 1.2-liter, supercharged three-cylinder gas engine gets down with 80 horsepower and 144 pound-feet.

Believe it or not but the bounty doesn't stop there, with a suspension combining "agility, refinement and poise" also included as standard equipment. We'll let you decide for yourself, unless you're in the U.S. since we probably won't get it. For you, there's a press release after the jump and a gallery of high-res photos below.

Photos by Drew Phillips / Copyright ©2010 Weblogs, Inc.
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Fourth Generation Micra Sets New Global Standard

GENEVA (March 2, 2010) – Carlos Ghosn, Chief Executive Officer, Nissan Motor Co. Ltd, today unveiled the company's all new Micra, the fourth generation of the iconic city car, at the 80th International Geneva Motor Show.

Boasting breakthrough packaging and small-car engineering, the all-new, fourth generation Nissan Micra (known as March in Japan) is on course to create a whole new set of industry standards. Unveiled today at the Geneva Motor Show, the Micra has consistently won praise and success for in Europe, Japan and other markets, gaining a reputation as a reliable, stylish, accessible compact car enjoyed by a wide cross-section of customers. The new Micra has been designed to build on that trend – in 160 countries.

"Combine 25 years' experience of designing compact cars for city driving... with a totally new, versatile platform and Nissan production know-how... and the result is modern, simple and destined to be a serious competitor on the world stage," said Carlos Ghosn,during the car's reveal.

At a glance:
* Spacious interior allied to compact exterior dimensions
* All new 3-cylinder petrol engine including supercharged and direct injection version with emissions of 95g/km to be added to the line up later
* New Continuously Variable Transmission with world-first technology
* All new Versatile platform conceived to be light weight
* New Micra to be sold in 160 countries and manufactured in four different plants

Developed and built on Nissan's all-new V-platform, which was developed under a comprehensive new production engineering process, the new Micra was designed and tested in Japan to be built in at least four overseas locations, and fine-tuned to meet the differing tastes and needs of customers in 160 countries worldwide. Breaking with traditions that focused on launching production in established markets like Europe and Japan, Nissan will base production of the new Micra at overseas manufacturing sites such as Thailand, India, Mexico and China.

"The car has to charm a global audience," comments Makoto Yamane, Associate Product Chief Designer. "Its face had to look stylish and have an air of sophistication to it.." A unique design feature of this car – its double-layer integrated grille – meets these requirements. But the car's classic shape was also crucial. That's why it also employs a stylised version of the distinctive arched side window line, something that is central to the Micra's heritage, identity and appeal in Europe and Japan.

Retaining its compact dimensions, the new car is slightly longer and marginally lower, while its longer wheelbase enables a 'wheels-at-each-corner' stance, the main reason behind the Micra's roomier interior. The boomerang-shaped grooves on the roof have a clearly defined purpose too, continues Yamane. Aiming to create the same sense of exterior style inside the car, Nissan has employed a 'connected cocoon' design featuring a dashboard design which takes on a 'twin bubble' theme. This refers to the circular instrumentation binnacle and the similarly shaped glovebox compartment on the passenger side.

All-new Engine and CVT
In Europe, a simple engine line-up sees just two engines options – both are variations on Nissan's all-new naturally aspirated HR12 1.2-litre, 3-cylinder petrol engine. Inheriting its DNA from the HR16 4-cylinder engine powering the Note and Qashqai, the new engine employs valve-timing control (VTC). Power is rated at 59kW (80ps, while torque output is 108Nm. At only 115g/km, CO2emissions for this version are world-class.

In addition to the new normally aspirated engine, Nissan will also offer a supercharged 1.2-litre direct injection iteration with a start-stop system fitted as standard in Europe. These technological innovations – stop-start reduces CO2 by six per cent – combine to offer spirited performance, with outputs of 72kW (98PS) and 142Nm of torque. Emissions will be just 95g/km, an exceptional achievement for a petrol engine.

Both engine options in Europe are available with either a 5-speed manual gearbox or Nissan's all-new Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). The wide gear coverage enables the 1.2-litre engine to achieve the economy of a 1.0-litre as well as brisk acceleration.

Not satisified merely improving performance levels, engineers excelled in developing ride and handling characteristics which combine agility, refinement and poise. Mounted onto Nissan's new signature V-platform, the suspension has been designed to be both compact, minimising intrusion at the rear for maximum trunk space, but not at the expense of the car's on-road dynamics. Particular attention has been paid to bump absorption, meaning that the Micra will ride serenely over challenging road surfaces, not suffer from wallow or float, and cruise effortlessly at highway speeds.

Comfort, function and equipment
In contrast to its high speed capability, the car also has superb visibility and a class-topping turning radius of 4.5m and several new technologies that assist with minimising CO2 emissions and mileage while at the same time making parking easier.

Globally, equipment levels differ by market, but the new Micra is available with some key technological innovations which are designed to simplify day-to-day life for its owners.

The new Micra is available with reversing sensors and a new 'parking space measurement' (PSM) device with three skill levels (amateur, normal and expert) to lessen the burden of parking in tight spaces – a unique feature in this segment, and likely to be a popular innovation in Europe where 'touch parking' is a way of life.

It also offers an Intelligent Key, Nissan Connect, Nissan's accessible touch-screen combined audio and satellite navigation system, glass roof, automatic wipers, speed sensitive volume on the audio, a push button start-stop system in addition to a drive computer which supplies drivers with real time fuel economy information, cruising range and outside temperature. On the security side, the car is also fitted with a speed-sensitive automatic door locking system.

The incorporation of the V-platform is one major factor contributing to the car's improved impactsafety. The car is designed to absorb the forces of a frontal impact, thanks to the sophisticated crumple zones, while maintaining cabin integrity due to its highly reinforced body shell.In Europe, the Micra will be fitted with ABS, dual front airbags, curtain and side airbags, Electronic Stability Programme (ESP)and pretensioner seatbelts as standard equipment.

Simon Thomas, Nissan's European Senior Vice President for Sales and Marketing, said: "The new Micra will continue to be the benchmark city car in Europe. Its appeal will be enhanced by its unique combination of compact exterior dimensions, with roomy interior, small and efficient engines, and user-friendly technology. Its continued icon status is destined to be be reinforced in its fourth generation."

Sales will begin in Thailand in March, with European sales starting in the autumn.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      What is going on in Nissan's stying department? Are they all smoking something? First the world's ugliest ever car; the Nissan Juke, and now this! The old Micra was pretty ugly to be honest, but this is even worse.

      Nissan are fast becoming a joke.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I think the real joke is all the people trying to put Nissan down. Regardless of what you think, whatever they are doing is working.

        Criticize them all you want, but the Renault/Nissan alliance posted record market share last year. Sales taken together, they were right up there with Volkswagen and GM behind Toyota (ahead of Ford). However, Nissan has been profitable for the past 3 quarters- which can't be said about a lot of automakers.


        And Nissan/Renault has very strong position both in developed and BRIC/growth markets. If you don't like to look at Nissans, I feel sorry for you- you are going to be looking at a lot more of them.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I think it's pretty safe to say, the vast majority in here are petrol heads...who happen to have a taste for fine cars and fine styling. So why people are commending this rather poor effort on Nissan's part is beyond me.

        Ukparts, I wish the Nissan stylists had been smoking something. Atleast they wouldn't have come out with something that looked like a 1991 Mazda MX-3
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think if it's sold as a Mini competitor that achieves 40mpg and sells for $14k Nissan would have a US-hit. It's when they cheapen it down and pass it off as an econo-box does it fail to meet expectations.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The Mini sells because its retro. This is just another ugly modern hatch.
        • 5 Years Ago
        No, the MINI sells because it's a great drive, it's ergonomic and comfy, and pretty much does everything well. Being "retro" is the least of it. In fact, I dislike the retro some. True aficionados of the "retro" hate BMW's MINI anyway.

        Compare the MINI to the Beetle. One is a great car in any era, and the other is retro for retro's sake alone, at the expense of everything else, which is rather mediocre.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Does anybody else think the front looks like a Hyundai Accent's?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Is it green?

      Yes, very.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I agree. The old Micra had a lot of "New Beetle" going on, and thus was cute and distinctive. Now, it's not so distinctive.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I thought we are getting a version of this car, or just the platform. The new Versa perhaps?
      • 5 Years Ago
      I like the old one better, It had more character then this one....
      • 5 Years Ago
      awe... more fiat than quirkey like the old one :/
      • 5 Years Ago
      Although the Micra looks a bit more playful than the Versa, the Versa can at least seat four six-footers with ease. I doubt that the Micra can come even close.
      • 5 Years Ago
      They've ruined the Micra!!! This is ten times worse than the previous generation....
        • 5 Years Ago
        Ditto. The previous one was much much more original and interesting.
        • 5 Years Ago
        So true. This thing personifies ugly and cheap IMO.
        The old one was quite the looker compared to this melted horror.
      • 5 Years Ago
      its actually 98 hp not 80 for the supercharged version...
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